Berman: Enterprise Compact Like A Submarine

By Christian
July 9, 2001 - 8:40 PM

Today's edition of TV Guide not only featured the first image of Jonathan Archer's Enterprise, but also an interview with Rick Berman. The Series V Executive Producer revealed new information about this Enterprise.

"The number is NX-01," Berman told Michael Logan at TV Guide (via TrekNews.de). The ship will be part of the Earth organisation Starfleet, based from San Francisco. "What we have created is a halfway mark between the engine capabilities in the movie 'Star Trek: First Contact' and the time of Captain Kirk. After almost a century of having the Vulcans patronising us - during which they were giving us technical assistance at a slow and frustrating rate because they did not feel we were ready to go out into space - humans have finally developed an engine that will allow us to go Warp 5."

The ship will be much smaller than those seen in other series, and more like the present-day Space Shuttle or submarines. In fact, the producers even spent some time on a nuclear submarine during the design process. "In the captain's ready room, you can bump your head if you don't watch out. The beams are that low. [...] But our sets are still something to behold. The bridge has more depth than width - unlike previous bridges we've seen - and it has 80 plasma screens built into it."

Finally, Berman also said that the fans' worries about why they didn't see Enterprise's new aliens later in the future will be satisfied as the series unfolds. "We will learn that the Suliban - who were formerly a relatively unimportant species - have now gotten important very quickly. They are being given technical information and assistance - particularly in regard to genetic engineering - from the distant future, where there is a temporal cold war going on. One of the fronts of that war is the 22nd Century. But whom the Suliban are taking instructions from and for what purpose are things that will remain very veiled and quite spooky."

In addition to the above, Berman also provided new information on all of the seven main characters from the series:

  • Jonathan Archer - Berman described Archer as "almost a Han Solo-type boyish hero," something he very far from any of Trek's other captains. But at least in one way, Archer should reflect Captain Kirk more than the other captains. "We're certainly not going to be avoiding [sex] with Captain Archer. What can I say? He's single and healthy."

  • T'Pol - It has now been officially confirmed that this character was originally intended to be a younger version of the Original Series character T'Pau. As T'Pol, Jolene Blalock will be playing a "sensual young woman," similar to Valeris in 'Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.' Despite what Trek archivist Richard Arnold recently suggested, she will not be dressed in a catsuit, but rather as a Vulcan officer. Even while dressed conservatively, she will still have to work hard to earn the respect of her fellow crew members. "Our captain, as well as most of the other Starfleet people we'll come to know, does have a certain animosity towards the Vulcans."

  • Charles 'Trip' Tucker III - The Enterprise's Chief Engineer has lost the nickname Spike since the original casting sheet. Berman described the Southern Chief Enginner as "a bit of a cowboy, [with] a certain with and charm that is disarming even to our Vulcan first officer, T'Pol."

  • Doctor Phlox - Phlox still practices an unusual alien brand of medicine, keeping "strange little critters" in sickbay. As for the Doctor himself, Berman described him as a "wonderful, strange alien gentleman" who unexpectedly happened to become part of the crew at the start of 'Broken Bow.'

  • Travis Mayweather - The ship's helmsman is the youngest member of the crew. But as he was raised on deep-space freighters, he has been in space more than anybody on the ship.

  • Malcom Reed - The official function of Reed is apparently "tactical security munitions officer." Reed is someone who "loves to blow things up," though he is also very proper and shy with women, the result of his military British upbringing.

  • Hoshi Sato - The ship's communication officer often is Captain Archer's right hand because of her ability to quickly learn alien languages. This is an important function, because while Universal Translators do exist, they are prone to frequent breakdowns.

The full interview, along with a pull-out poster of the new Enterprise, can be found in this week's edition of TV Guide. To subscribe to the magazine for a full year for only $23.12 (55% off), please follow this link. In addition, a transcript (in German) as well as images from the magazine can be found here on TrekNews.de.

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